- Special Pages
By Satish Kanady
DOHA: Qatar has played down the possible impact of the so called ‘US shale revolution’ on the Middle East’s conventional energy markets. H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry yesterday said Qatar is well positioned to face any possible challenges posed by the shale energy stories, both in mid-term and long-term prospects.
“The effects of shale gas may be dramatic in the US. But we do not expect it will be a game changer in the Middle East. I would rather call the US shale ‘revolution’ a shale ‘evolution’, Dr Al Sada said.
Addressing a Q&A session, held in connection with the release of “The 2013 GSDP-ExxonMobil 2013 Energy Outlook Forum” Dr Al Sada said all the forecasts must be taken with a pinch of salt. Forecasts often tend to miss unexpected factors.
Shale is not a threat to the market; in fact it would boost the confidence of the consumers. Now forecasters predict the conventional energy would last just next 70 years. The 70-year deadline has been predicting for quite long time by the forecasters and energy analysts. The same forecasters continue to say that the conventional energy will remain for another seventy years.
When we talk about Shale revolution, ‘cost-effectiveness’ is a key. It is so expensive. The life span of Shale gas is predicted to drop quicker. They need to keep drilling all the time and there are lot of questions in terms of environmental concerns, sustainability and technical challenges. Dr Al Sada noted the Shale energy’s reservoir model is also under question.
On Qatari perspective, the minister added, the biggest advantage is that the country has developed its North Field sector on right time. “We are quite efficient and are positioned very comfortable. We are not at all worried about the supply”, he said.
Dr Al Sada said, as of now, 75 percent of the world’s total energy demand is projected to come from fossil fuel. At least 50 percent of the incremental increase of gas is still coming from conventional gas, which prompts us to wonder whether Shale is just news.
On the Middle East’s conventional energy market, Dr Al Sada said market is set to undergo a major change. The Middle East will soon emerge as the major consumer. Saudi will need more LNG in the coming years. The demand from Abu Dhabi and Kuwait are also set to surge in the coming years.
Earlier, addressing the opening session, Dr Al Sada said: Framing future energy strategy requires answers to pressing questions surrounding conventional and non-convention gas like how shale gas affect the energy outlook for the US and the rest of the world and the questions like “will the position of Australia as a prospective leading future LNG player alter the future outlook?”